Photo/IllutrationSpecial counsel Robert Mueller departs for Easter services at St. John's Episcopal Church, in Washington, D.C., on April 21. (AP Photo)

If a movie has a gory climax, red should not be used in the scenes that lead up to it. I read somewhere that this is a basic filmmaking technique that is used to shock and scare the audience as much as possible.

The idea is to prevent viewers from getting accustomed to seeing the color of blood.

U.S. President Donald Trump has made so many shocking and outrageous remarks that many people may now have grown used to the shock of what he says.

Trump’s numerous efforts to frustrate the investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election have recently been brought to light.

Many people’s reaction to the revelations may have been “Yet again.” But his acts as described in the document should shock everybody and provoke a cry of “Impossible!”

A redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, which was recently released by the Department of Justice, depicts how the president made desperate efforts to shut down or interfere with the investigation to determine if there was a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. It was revealed that Trump maneuvered to have the special counsel removed.

After he failed to have Mueller dismissed, Trump then made attempts to have the investigation scaled down and to get the acting attorney general, who was close to him, to interfere with it. The special counsel investigated as many as 10 incidents in which the president may have obstructed justice. It seems that these efforts would have been unnecessary if he had not committed any wrongdoing.

Although the investigation has not led to criminal charges against the president, Congress is likely to continue inquiring into the matter.

One source of solace is the fact that some of his aides and advisers chose to refuse or ignore his unreasonable orders and demands. One resigned instead of complying with Trump’s order to sack Mueller. Another was fired after refusing to obey the president.

These people’s acts clearly reflect their recognition of the importance of judicial independence.

Two different kanji can be used to write the Japanese word for getting accustomed, or “nareru.” One can also mean "an animal becomes tamed."

There were apparently some presidential aides who became accustomed to Trump’s flagrant norm-shattering behavior but did not become so tamed as to always try to curry favor with the president. I wonder where things now stand.

--The Asahi Shimbun, April 21

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Vox Populi, Vox Dei is a popular daily column that takes up a wide range of topics, including culture, arts and social trends and developments. Written by veteran Asahi Shimbun writers, the column provides useful perspectives on and insights into contemporary Japan and its culture.